By Dr. M. Lloyd Erickson
Why is it important to have a clear picture of God?
Suppose you had a family member who was terribly busy with work and other
interests. This person showed little interest in you – your dreams, hopes,
interests. Would you enjoy attempting to sit down with that person to try
to share your thoughts and feelings? Probably not.
Suppose you had a friend who often stretched the truth, who sometimes
prevaricated. After experiencing this for a while, would believe everything
he said? Probably not.
Suppose you had a parent who rewarded you only when you lived up to her
lofty expectations perfectly. And when you failed to be perfect, you got
the cold shoulder – or worse. Would you want to spend a lot of time basking
in that parent’s company? Probably not.
Suppose you had a supervisor or teacher who seemed to always be looking over
your shoulder to catch you making a mistake. Inevitably you made mistakes
and caught his wrath. Would you like to spend a lot of time after work of
school with him? Probably not.
Now – what if we have similar perceptions of Heavenly Father? What if we
view Him as being too busy, uninvolved, uncaring, judgmental, etc.? Would
we greatly desire to spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study? Would
we excitedly anticipate 24 special hours with Him on Sabbath? Would we long
from the depths of our souls to spend eternity with Him? Probably not. And
what if we see God as the source, either actively or passively, of tragedy
and pain? Would we have fond, loving thoughts of Him? Probably not.
Can you see how vital it is to see Heavenly Father more and more clearly? How
we respond to Him and the type of relationship we have with Him greatly
depends on how we view Him.
Because we are born in this sinful world, we all developed distorted
perceptions of God. We may be unaware of them, but they are still there.
These misperceptions persist even though we may know all the right Bible
You and I may see Him (or respond to Him) as:
• Being way too busy to pay attention to me
• Withdrawing His affection
• Abandoning me
• Not keeping his promises
• Being inconsistent
• Loving me only when I do exactly what He wants
• Causing me pain, suffering, or loss
The good news is that God wants us to know Him. "This is life eternal, that
they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has
sent." John 17:3 (See also Rev. 3:20.) He wants to be seen clearly, as He
truly is. Notice prayerfully this passage –
Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer: "Thank you, Father, Lord of Heaven and
earth. You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but
spelled them out clearly to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that’s the way
you like to work."
Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly. "The Father has
given me all these things to do and say. This is a unique Father-Son
operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies, and knowledge. No one
knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.
But I’m not keeping it to myself; I’m ready to go over it line by line with
anyone willing to listen. " Matthew 11:25-28, The Message
M. Lloyd Erickson, PhD, gave a life-changing series of seven presentations on this vital topic at the Battle Creek Tabernacle. This sreries is now availabl in MP-3 format for listening from this page or for downloading to your computer or MP-3 player.
- Our Urgent Need For Fresh Glimpses Of God
- Glimpses Of A God Who Hugs
- God's Embrace, Let Me Count The Ways
- The Father Who Never Abandons
- The Non-perfectionist Perfect Parent
- If Heavenly Father Is So Good Then Why Am I In Such Pain
- The Father Who Loves Without Strings